Couldn’t happen to a nicer militia

Mahdi Army expressing siege mentality

Via Instapundit:

Mahdi Army fighters said Thursday they were under siege in their Sadr City stronghold as U.S. and Iraqi troops killed or seized key commanders in pinpoint nighttime raids. Two commanders of the Shiite militia said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has stopped protecting the group under pressure from Washington and threats from Sunni Muslim Arab governments.

As noted earlier, there are reports that the Mahdi Army’s (really more a collection of thugs, not even a real militia) fallback plan is a withdrawal south into the Diwaniyah area. Of course, if they’re really under “siege” it might be too late to withdraw effectively.

Incidentally, this might be an indication of the real change in the way we’re going to fight this war. Not a surge in troops, though more boots on the ground will almost always be welcome, but a surge in our tactics and strategy. As far as I’ve been able to gather, the biggest complaint from our combat troops isn’t a lack of men or of armor or of things that need to be done. It’s been a lack of commitment to take the fight to the bad guys.

A shift to more offensive operations would be a winner with or without additional troops. There’s a long, long way to go, but I think what we’ve seen in the past week is as good as we’ve seen in the past six months. Let’s hope we keep it up.


  1. Thugs. Good term for them. Derived from the murders/theives of India called the Thuggies. They inflitrated and then strangled their targets.

  2. Looks like a case of ‘better late than never’ to me. One of the most shameful aspects of our occupation of Iraq has been the unwillingness of Rumsfeld and others of his mindset to admit it’s an occupation. One of the primary responsibilities of an occupying power is to preferably preempt threats, and if not, to give them the crushing they deserve. Anything less in that region, with it’s prevailing religious and cultural mindset, is interpreted as the inaction of the weak and vulnerable. That smacktard Sadr (and a bunch of others like him) should’ve have had his bleep handed to him two years ago, and the fact it wasn’t sure as heck wasn’t the fault of our great troops, but our weak willed and PC leadership. Of course the glaring second leg of our leaderships failure was to ignore the voices of those wise enough to advocate putting enough troops in Iraq to have given us a fighting chance to have successfully occupied it. Shame on them! Iraq should be ‘by and for’ Iraqis, but there’s no excuse for not making our help and the sacrifice of so many American lives and so many resources contingent on Iraqis at all levels taking ownership of their problems and dealing effectively with them; as if they are a ‘nation’ and not a bunch of vindictive, fractious, tribalistic refugees from the past. Saddam was an ogre that badly needed to go, but I have to wonder if he didn’t understood that last better than much of our leadership. Firm hand on the tiller, gentlemen!